How to Make Risotto
Follow these steps to stir up perfect risotto.
Risotto is the ultimate social, cook-together food, since it requires constant attention while cooking. Mastering the dish is all about paying attention in the last minutes, getting a feel for what it should look and taste like when it's done cooking. But even if it's served in the fanciest restaurants and has a reputation for being tricky, perfect risotto is easier than it seems. Just channel your inner Italian chef and dive in.
Choose Your Rice
The most common types of rice used for risotto are arborio, carnaroli and vialone nano. How do you decide which to use? The main difference is the type of starch in each rice, so you should choose a rice to match your personal preference and the type of risotto you’re making.
Arborio: The rice most commonly used for risotto, arborio has the highest amount of soft surface starch, so it makes super creamy risotto. It also has a tendency to lose its shape a bit during cooking and can become sticky.
Carnaroli: Carnaroli rice becomes creamy when cooked but holds its shape better than arborio rice. With its good balance and thin long grains, it’s recommended for simple, elegant risottos, with few mix-ins.
Vialone Nano: The toughest of the three rices, vialone nano has round, thick grains. Use it for risottos with lots of hearty mix-ins, since the sturdy grains can stand up to extra stirring.
Risotto begins, like so many dishes, with what Italians call a soffrito -- a base of sauteed onions, sometimes including celery and garlic. For risotto, chop the vegetables finely into rice-sized pieces, so you don't end up with large chunks of onion and celery in your finished dish.
Add the Rice
When the vegetable base is tender, stir in the rice. You want the oil and butter to coat and warm up every grain of rice.Let it toast up.
Add the Rice
When the vegetable base is tender, stir in the rice. You want the oil and butter to coat and warm up every grain of rice.